Artistic Director Ib Andersen and Executive Director Samantha Turner at Ballet Arizona’s “Dance With Me” Gala. Photo by Haute Photography.
Change. For some, it’s something to embrace and relish. But for most of us, if we’re honest, it’s something we approach with a mix of measured enthusiasm and subtle apprehension. But as the time worn adage says, the only thing constant is change. More recently, a song lyric reminded me that we’re all moving forward, but with different-sized strides.
For the most part, change energizes me because of the opportunity for growth and new perspectives. At Ballet Arizona, we have some very exciting changes on the horizon. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating these new opportunities and experience the learning that comes along the way.
This month, we welcome Anthony Jones as the new School Director for The School of Ballet Arizona. He joins us, after a search that included candidates from around the world, eager for an opportunity to lead our School. We are thrilled about the new energy he will bring, as well as his commitment to continuing the classically-based ballet curriculum that has allowed our students to move on to successful careers in ballet and pursuits that benefit from strength, commitment and discipline.
Speaking of the School, we’re thrilled to announce that as of February 3, 2018, children in the West Valley have the opportunity to explore their love of dance closer to home. Visit balletaz.org to learn about how The School of Ballet Arizona is bringing classes to Estrella Mountain Community College.
Ballet Arizona dancers Mimi Tompkins and Helio Lima for Ib Andersen’s “Firebird”.
Ballet Arizona will announce its new season shortly, but I’d like to share a few clues with you in advance of that announcement.
Thanks to the support of a forward thinking and generous donor, the season will include a groundbreaking new work from Ib Andersen, Firebird. The ballet tells a mythical story through the lens of today, showcasing his compelling choreography, stunning costumes and multimedia enhanced sets. We will also welcome one of today’s leading new choreographers, bringing an internationally performed work to Arizona for the first time, for our contemporary program.
In addition to these exciting enhancements to our artist mission, Ballet Arizona is working to expand its connection to our community. In 2018-19, Ballet Arizona Education & Outreach activities will bring dance to the community in new ways. You can expect to hear that the professional company will have special performances in schools and with other community partners. You’ll also learn that our Creative Aging initiatives, designed to enhance the best years of our lives, will reach new groups. Our season will begin in September, allowing the professional company more time for community outreach in the Spring and throughout the year.
We spent a great deal of time listening to our supporters who want to see dynamic new works, an expanding arts community, and greater reach to audiences throughout the Valley. We hope you’ll celebrate with us the changes that allow us to respond to your requests, and support us on this evolving journey.